Explaining away Dunglish and getting tangled up


Many Dutch people make fun of the sensation seeking De Telegraaf newspaper because of the quality of its reporting, as compared to other Dutch newspapers. In an attempt to teach its audience something, this article tries to pass off Dunglish as proper English and makes a mess of it. I was so happy to read that Dutch people noticed it too. Journalists are supposed to check their facts and their references.

The mistake was simple “where abouts do you live?” and not “about”. Not a huge deal, but it should ideally be “where are you currently staying/residing?”. The article not only mucks up the English, but the comments also point out that the Dutch explanation is wrong as well.

And then it gets worse because “where abouts do you live?” does not mean the same thing as “where are you currently staying?”, which is the point the author tried to make in the first place. The author assumes that living and staying somewhere mean the same thing, which could even explain why Rasmussen might have got it wrong. And ‘to add more salt on the snail’ as they say in Dutch, the explanation of whereabouts is wrong as well.

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9 Responses to “Explaining away Dunglish and getting tangled up”

  1. Márcia W. says:

    Hum, this thing got me so confused that I have to stop now and look for my (ongeveer?) whereabouts.

  2. Mr. M says:

    To put salt on a snail; to add salt to a snail?

    Just a thought 😉

  3. Natashka says:

    Not to a live one 🙂

  4. Gijs says:

    If you add too much salt to a snail you could end up being an ant f*cker.

  5. Rosalie says:

    Oh, don’t blame Bart Veldkamp, he’s Belgian. 😉

  6. Paul says:

    And to add a little salt on another snail: Rasmussen may be an athlete, he is not an atleet. In Dutch this is someone who takes part in athletics.

  7. Ludolph says:

    ‘to add more salt on the snail’ is niet alleen Dunglish, maar ook een contaminatie van ‘op alle slakken zout leggen’ en ‘meer zout in de wond strooien’. Dat laatste zal Natashka bedoeld hebben. ‘To straw more salt in the wound’ lijkt me de correcte Dunglish uitdrukking.

  8. Natashka says:

    Goed gezien 🙂

  9. Tiemen says:

    Bart Veldkamp is not a journalist, so that might give him some credit. Still, the editor could have paid more attention.

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